The cornerstone of any twelve-steep meeting, whether for adult children of alcoholics or other groups, is the share-the oral, audible exposure and expression of a person's plight. But a closer examination of it will reveal its greater importance and the stages it may assume.

Most adult children have what can be considered an “abuse-loge”-that is, the almost-automatic lines that they continually repeat to others about their upbringings that may contain aspects such as alcoholism, para-alcoholism, dysfunction, adversity, and shame. Yet they are only able to skirt the fringes of it until they enter a recovery venue. Probing and penetrating damaging, traumatizing circumstances, whose layers were laid during years of difficulty, requires time and trust, principally because the very fears and anxieties they loathe experiencing in life are the very ones they must face in meetings.

They will most likely only observe, assess, and absorb the share process at their initial ones. Because many, whether characterized as adult children or not, fear public speaking and there is certainly an element of this in these very venues, mustering the courage to do so may require some time. Already lacking the trust they were robbed of during their upbringings, they may feel particularly exposed and vulnerable during such occasions.

Aside from engaging in a form of public speaking, they bare their souls, exposing their deepest secrets about their home-of-origins and thus breaking, perhaps for the first time, the family lie about dysfunction that ensured its perpetuation in front of people they consider nothing more than strangers-at least until they get to know them and become more comfortable with them.

Fearing their judgment, they may rehearse in their minds exactly what they wish to say, striving to do so as flawlessly as possible, only to conclude after the actual share that it could not have been further from what they had intended. They may also believe that their problems pale in comparison to those of others in the group, shedding light on their perception of their low sense of importance and self-esteem. They may be very conscious of any imposed time limit. And their nerves, at least during their early meetings, may prove more powerful than them, hijacking their coherence. It is this last point which most needs to be understood.

Triggered and perhaps retraumatized, they are forced to face the very emotions they try to avoid, and may not understand how the cause can now become the cure. There is a psychology axiom which states that:” the only way out is through”-in other words, a person will never be released from his anxieties and fears until he walks through and confronts them so that he can come out the other side. But there is a difference between attempting to do so alone and doing so in a group meeting.

Connected to God or a Higher Power of their understanding through the standardly-recited Serenity Prayer, they and all others are provided, sometimes without awareness and always without visualization, guidance, support, strength, and comfort from above. Sharing their burden in such circumstances unburdens them, since the group dynamics are far stronger than the adversities that caused their shatter. And that Higher Power does more than just observe: He listens, desensitizes, and lifts the blockages, plugging, ever so gradually throughout the recovery process, the holes in their souls.

Furthermore, witnessed by others who understand their struggles, they find additional comfort in their verification and validation of their pain and their plight.

Aside from the value of understanding the significance of the share process for beginners, there is equal value in it for those who have attended recovery meetings for a considerable time, since it enables them to gauge the stages and depths of what they say and their departure from their outer abuse-logue layer.

Although they may have initially scratched the surface, progressive strength, restoration, confidence, and esteem enable them to penetrate to their core. The more they are unburdened, the freer they become, enabling them to partake of some of life's aspects they could once only contemplate, but never completely embrace or enjoy. And, as they emerge from the darkness of their past to the light of their present, they may increasingly share about how the recovery process has healed and restored them, and how it has paved the way to a brighter future.

So powerful is the disease of alcoholism, para-alcoholism, codependence, and dysfunction, that it takes the collective, kindred-spirit strength of a twelve-step group, guided by a Higher Power, to combat it, and the share is the method of triumphing over it.

Article Source: